The celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the
founding of the IEEE EMC Society occurred during the 2007 IEEE
International EMC Symposium held in Honolulu, Hawaii. In attendance
were society co-founders, namely and alphabetically: Samuel Burrano,
Milton Kant, James NcNaul, Vincent Mancino, Ralph Showers and
me. Most impressive were: the hall of fame depicting photographs
of significant members and their biographies; a film and booklet
of the society’s history, including excerpts of interviews
with significant society members, and a display of many early
tools of our profession. Viewing that museum and discussion with
other co-founders stirred my memories, especially about the founding
of our society.
Circa 1956, talk among RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) engineers
earnestly began on forming a group, especially at the second conference
on RFI conducted by the Armour Research Foundation (ARI). Rexford
Daniels printed that talk in his newsletter “Quasies and
Peaks” and suggested that interested people contact Milton
Kant and Harold Schwenk, RFI Engineers at the Sperry Gyroscope
Company on Long Island, New York.
In February 1957, at the third ARI RFI, several other RFI engineers
and I met with Harold Schwenk and Milton Kant to discuss the formation
of such a group. Later that year, I went to work for Milton. Soon
thereafter, Milton arranged a meeting and invited interested engineers
of the New York City and Long Island areas to attend a meeting
in New York City to discuss the formation of an RFI group and
whether it should affiliate with the IRE (forerunner to the IEEE),
or be independent, like the one in the Los Angeles area that had
been brought to our attention by Fred Nichols. Harold and I wanted
to be independent and Milton argued for affiliation.
Later on in 1957, the meeting convened in New York City. After
hearing the arguments for IRE affiliation, especially those by
Laurence Cumming and Rexford Daniels, I wrote Harold a note that
I was going to vote for affiliation, he replied: me too. Overwhelmingly,
the vote was for affiliation. Subsequently, Milton put the finishing
touches on a petition for submittal to the IRE for a Professional
Group on RFI (PGRFI) that was approved on October 10, 1957.
On November 10, 1957 at the first meeting of the Administration
Committee, Harold Schwenk became our Founding President and Milton
Kant served a three-year term where he chaired the committee to
prepare a draft of a Constitution.
Note: More detailed information about the founding of the EMC
Society can be found the PGRFI Newsletter, Number 1, January 2,1958.
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